Editor's Choice Rankings
For our Editor’s Choice, we tried to look for rankings that were unique in some way, either through their methodology or the ranking itself. These included traditional rankings that included untraditional measures, like a diversity ranking that included more than just representation. These also included rankings that measured the untraditional, like a ranking that focused solely on pro bono work at law firms.
Editor's Choice: Law Firms
This ranking highlights the top law firms in terms of commitment to pro bono work. The list serves to highlight not only big wins in high visibility pro bono cases, but also the average number of hours per attorney dedicated to pro bono work. As rankings develop, more and more often “extras” like commitment to pro bono work are being included in consideration, but it’s nice to see the a ranking dedicated solely to the less revenue based side of the business.
With both of these rankings, there’s more information than meets the eyes. While they both look at traditional markers of inclusion such as attorney representation, they also add in a focus on equity partners. It’s important to make sure that there is diversity within the upper echelons as well as among associates. There is also additional analysis and debate included in these reports that make them fascinating reads.
Our law firm rankings are not only limited to those out in the workforce. Vault’s Best Summer Associate Program ranks these programs both overall and individually based on the programs that were considered the best preparation for the workplace and the programs that were considered the most fun. Being a summer associate is one of the best ways to get a taste of what life will be at a firm and a chance to form important relationships. This ranking not only provides the ranking, but also sample associate reviews for the firms that made the list, making it an invaluable resource.
This annual survey looks at job satisfaction among 3rd, 4th, and 5th year associates. Categories range from pay, benefits, and advancement opportunities to interaction with partners and meaningful work. This comprehensive look from the inside from the people who know best is a unique way to evaluate what life is like at these firms, beyond the more traditional rankings based on publicly available or outside information.
Most BigLaw rankings take a comprehensive look at firms. This ranking acknowledges variability between offices. While one firm may be considered the most prestigious in one city or region, it could be considered less so in another part of the country. This ranking caught our eye as a unique way to compare firms both against each other and against themselves across various offices.
Editor's Choice: Companies
Most diversity rankings are numbers based, but this ranking goes beyond the traditional representation statistics. All honorees have earned 100% from Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Logo seeks to honor companies that not only provide a supportive and inclusive workplace for members of the LGBTQ community, but also companies that are outwardly supportive be it through CSR initiatives or representation among the top tiers of the company as well as the rank and file.
Working for the federal government is a world in and of itself and this ranking realizes that. Using data provided by an annually distributed employee survey that is standardized, this ranking is able to compare federal jobs in a number of categories from pay and advancement to work-life balance and support for diversity. The rankings are comprehensive and methodology and additional analysis is provided making it one of the more transparent rankings on our list.
With these ranking, Forbes tries to predict the next big names. Looking at a specific range of revenue earners, this ranking seeks to highlight the most innovative public companies and does so through its’ proprietary innovation premium, which seeks to balance traditional growth metric with a human element based on investor opinions and other metrics. This ranking is unique in valuing potential and innovation over a purely revenue based approach.
With Vault’s industry-specific diversity ratings, you can really take a look at which companies are committed to a supportive and inclusive workplace, both in terms of representation, but also in inclusive policies and opportunities for advancement. There is both an overall diversity ranking, but also community-specific rankings, such as diversity for women, minorities, members of the LGBTQ community, disabled individuals, and military veterans. This ability to look at rankings by specific community is useful for those of us that check off more than one box and for those that occupy non-traditional markers of diversity such as military veterans.
Editor's Choice: Law Schools
Traditional law school rankings focus on academics, but Above the Law is focused on getting a job in law. Beyond the usual metrics of bar passage and job placement, ATL’s ranking focuses on getting quality jobs within the legal profession. ATL also prioritizes job placement and salary-to-debt ratio over the traditional markers of LSAT scores and GPA. So if your focus in law school is on the eventual outcome and your career, this is the ranking for you.
This is a ranking of the top pre-law programs, but instead of focusing solely on undergraduates with an explicit pre-law program, this ranking also considers other paths to law school, like majoring in political science or completing a pre-law track. With a focus on classes that prepared students for the LSAT and law school as well as overall academic quality and affordability, the ranking tried to move beyond just looking at top law school feeder schools and adopted a more comprehensive approach. Most rankings focus solely on explicit pre-law programs so we wanted to highlight this ranking for thinking outside the box.